Vietnam halts fowl raising in southern city until early 2007

HANOI - The Vietnamese government has decided to cease raising poultry in southern Ho Chi Minh City until next February, because few farms there meet veterinary safety and hygiene standards, local media reported Monday.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has told the city to halt poultry raising in a move to prevent potential bird flu outbreaks, as Vietnam is to host up to 100 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) events this year, including the APEC summit meeting in November, Youth newspaper reported.

Late last year, the Vietnamese government imposed a temporary ban on raising new poultry flocks to prevent bird flu spread. Seeing no new bird flu outbreaks in the last more than three months, it has recently permitted concentrated farms nationwide to hatch chicken eggs to serve poultry production.

In 2005, bird flu hit 44 cities and provinces of Vietnam, killing and leading to the forced culling of nearly 4.8 million poultry, accounting for over 2 percent of the country's fowl population.

Vietnam, home to 8 million poultry-raising households, now has a total poultry population of nearly 220 million.

calendar icon 13 March 2006
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